This is a pivotal season for Roy Williams, and not just because he put together a made-to-order national-title contender.
The North Carolina coach has been open in his frustration over the length of the NCAA investigation and the other travails of his players in recent years, P.J. Hairston most notably. He also has weathered a number of storms in his personal life, whether his health, his wife’s health or the death of close friends and neighbors, including Dean Smith.
At 65, Williams still has the vigor to coach and recruit at an elite level, but does he still have the patience to deal with all the nonsense that goes with it?
What he unquestionably has this season is the raw material to win a national title, from a senior point guard who ranks among the best in the country to talented scorers on the wings to two legitimate pillars of power in the post. It’s entirely possible the Tar Heels cruise to their third national title under Williams and Williams cruises right onto the golf course afterward.
The lack of a clear-cut successor to Williams is one big reason to stay, but if he intends to keep a hand in the program as Smith did after his retirement, he would retain considerable influence no matter who North Carolina would hire.
Williams might never have a better chance to go out on top.